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August 2, 1965

Cigarette Smoking and Cancer of the Bladder

Author Affiliations

From the Veterans Administration Hospital, Seattle. Reprint requests to 1959 NE Pacific, Seattle 98105 (Dr. Cobb).

JAMA. 1965;193(5):329-332. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090050005001

The incidence of carcinoma of the bladder is increasing. There is some evidence that this increase is related to the increased use of tobacco products. Statistics from the United States, Denmark, and France have shown a qualitative relationship between tobacco usage and bladder cancer. This study was undertaken to determine if a quantitative relationship could be established as well.

A total of 136 patients with bladder cancer were studied and of these, 123 were found to be either medium or heavy smokers. The threshold value was found to be the equivalent of one pack of cigarettes a day for 15 to 30 years.

The possible mechanism for the relationship between tobacco usage and bladder cancer is pointed out. The area of excretion of a chemical that is carcinogenic may be as important as the area of ingestion.